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FundersClub Weekly Newsletter - March 23, 2017

By Grace Barr  •  Mar 23, 2017

FundersClub Portfolio News

FundersClub co-founder and CEO, Alex Mittal, will be moving from his usual Q&A host spot to our special guest hot seat in FC Live Q&A, which will be hosted by Laura Behrens Wu of Shippo, to answer your questions on startups, investing, and entrepreneurship in "Q&A w/ CEO of FundersClub, Hosted by Shippo CEO — FC Live Series.

True&Co., an e-commerce company founded with the mission of disrupting the lingerie industry, has been acquired by Phillips Van Heusen, owner of Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger and other iconic brands, which plans to use it to move deeper into online sales and big data analytics in "Bra startup True&Co sold to Calvin Klein owner PVH."

Slack has added Square CFO Sarah Friar as its first independent board member, and she will also become its first female director in "Slack is adding Square CFO Sarah Friar as its first independent board member."

Thalmic Labs is listed as one of Canada’s 50 most financially attractive tech companies in "Report: Thalmic, Hootsuite Among Canada’s 50 Most Financially Attractive Tech Companies."

AlphaFlow launches AlphaFlow Managed Portfolios, where they will build, manage, and rebalance a portfolio of 75-100 real estate loans for investors, marking the first automated real estate investment service of its kind in "AlphaFlow Launches New Investment Platform to Bring Automated Investing to Real Estate."

Melanie Warrick of will be a keynote speaker at M3, sharing her wealth of knowledge not just in AI and machine learning, but in dealing with the sorts of problems that real world companies have to tackle outside the lab in "M3:’s Melanie Warrick to deliver keynote."

Investor Thoughts

Alex Mittal of FundersClub chats with Harry Stebbings of The Twenty Minute VC on moving from YC founder to where FundersClub is at now, his bullish take on the on-demand space, whether we are in an AI bubble, and more in "20VC: How Every VC Firm is a Marketplace, Why a Large Amount of Promise in AI Today is Impossible & Entrepreneurs 3 Main Pain Points of Fundraising, with Alex Mittal, Founder & CEO @ FundersClub."

Niko Bonatsos of General Catalyst sits down with Alex Mittal of FundersClub and shares his set of operating theories and guiding principles in "If Everybody Thinks It's A Good Idea, It's Probably Not: A Conversation With Niko Bonatsos."

Christopher Steiner of FundersClub discusses how while AI techniques have been around for decades, the real breakthrough came from the web and trove of data that the world's computers began to produce once they were all drawing from the same network in "AI Methods, Around For Decades, Now Move To Dominate Everything."

John Maeda of KPCB releases his annual report of design trends revolutionizing the entrepreneurial and corporate ecosystems in tech, related M&A activity, new patterns in creativity & business, and the rise of computational design in "Design in Tech Report 2017."

Tomasz Tunguz of Redpoint Ventures expands on four lies that managers tell themselves to avoid firing people, and highlights that the best way to cultivate a team is to be honest and have the hard conversations in "Lies Managers Tell Themselves To Avoid Firing Someone."

Jason M. Lemkin of SaaStr highlights that the amount of money you make matters, but only as a means to an end and you'll fail if you're doing it for the money in "How much should startup founders get paid?"

Mikey Tom of Pitchbook compiles the top 20 metro areas receiving the most investment from Bay Area VCs in "The 20 US Cities That Attract the Most Bay Area Investment."

Ash Rust of Trinity Ventures expands on how to make sure you get fundraising meetings with the right investors in "Seed Fundraising — How to Get a Meeting."

David Frankel of Founder Collective explains why the tech themes that exist today are not accurate predictors of tomorrow’s hot startups in "Why today’s tech themes are poor predictors of tomorrow’s hot startups."

Founder and Operator Thoughts

Nathan Kontny of Highrise questions if we are in Web 3.0, and advises that if you’re building a business or trying to grow attention to what you’re doing, you should consider if it has already done or if you have the wrong conclusion as your main goal in "Web 3.0."

Paul Dornier of Meetingbird describes how he and his co-founder made the transition from starting their company as a side project in college to a startup, focusing on three steps in particular that they think hold true for other student founders in "From Student Side Project to Startup."

Dave Lerner of Venture Studio reflects on the momentum that he has seen develop in the entrepreneurial ecosystem at Columbia University over the past decade he has been there in "The Rise of Tech @ Columbia University: Part 1, The Founders."

Isaac Saldana of SendGrid discusses his past as an entrepreneur, his motivations for starting SendGrid, finding initial product-market fit and the keys to their ultimate success in "SendGrid’s Startup Story With Co-Founder Isaac Saldana."

Nick Frost of Mattermark ranks the Winter 2017 batch of Y Combinator companies and shares the 25 with the highest Mattermark Growth Score in "The Top 25 Y Combinator Winter 2017 Demo Day Startups."

Elana Anderson of SmashFly says that the companies that are serious about recruiting the best people think about it as a marketing function and a critical part of building their brand in "Building a Talent Pipeline That Pays For Itself. The Key? Demand Gen Tactics."

Andrew Wilkinson of MetaLab explains that people like selling companies to Warren Buffett, even if it costs them a little, because he makes the process painless, and describes how he is applying that same process with opening Tiny in "The Berkshire Hathaway of The Internet."

In Other News

Samsung Electronics Co.’s shareholders will be meeting for the first time since the arrest of de facto chief Jay Y. Lee, with questions looming over whether any changes to its corporate structure are in store in "Samsung Meeting Overshadowed by Trial, Questions Over Structure."

Facebook is launching a new type of ad, called Collections, to help people find and buy products by allowing marketers to attach multiple product images to a video ad in News Feed, and bring users to a product catalogue hosted on Facebook in "Facebook has a new type of video ad meant to get people shopping."

Did You Know?

Did you know that an Ostrich's eye is bigger than its brain?